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Five Leaders Collaborate to Achieve Breakthroughs in Network Management; Israel Ministry of Industry and Commerce Supports New R&D Consortium.

TEL AVIV, Israel--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 27, 1997--Five of the leading Israeli and multinational networking companies, together with the Ben Gurion University, are collaborating to promote innovative R&D in advanced network management systems. The five companies -- which include Bay Networks, Expert Solutions International, Lanoptics, Madge Networks and RND Networks Ltd. (RND) -- formed the Israeli Network Management Systems (NMS) R&D Consortium with the support of the Israel Ministry of Industry and Commerce.

The R&D consortium, which receives support and assistance through the Israel Ministry of Industry and Commerce's "MAGNET" program (the acronym stands for "Generic Research and Development" in Hebrew), promotes innovative R&D in advanced network management systems. The "MAGNET" cooperative research and support program helps member companies achieve competitive advantage through investments in high-risk, forward-looking technologies.

"The Israeli Network Management Systems R&D Consortium provides us with a technology opportunity to achieve competitive advantages in network management through joint research and experimentation with the most advanced methods available," said Koby Huberman, Senior Director of Business Management at the LAN Division of Madge Networks, which leads the largest portion of the consortiums' research projects. "As computer network technology undergoes significant change, effective network management requires NMS tools which are capable of coping with not only increased bandwidth and complexity but also new paradigms."

The consortium aims to develop new tools to handle the shift of networks from shared media LANs to switched LANs, with dynamically defined Virtual LANs. In addition, ATM technology, which is currently available for campus and desktop connectivity, requires new tools. In the Wide Area Network (WAN), technology is moving from leased lines to flexible, frame-based switching technologies such as Frame Relay, and then again to cell switching -- ATM.

Each R&D project is led by one of the member organizations, and supported by one or more of the other members. Consortium projects address several aspects of network management: platform-independent tools and APIs, management of switched environments and advanced management applications. The highest emphasis is dedicated to switched network technology, both cell and frame switching.

Currently, the consortium is engaged in: Advanced Enterprise Monitor; Algorithms for Connectivity Analysis; ATM Management; Common API for Management Applications; Distributed SNMP Agent; Management of Switched Networks; Network Fault Finder; Optimal Resource Placement; Platform-Independent Tool Set; SNMP Mid-level-Manager; SNMP Utility; and Statistical Monitoring of High Speed Networks. The technologies developed by each member of the Consortium will be available to all Consortium members. Products based on the R&D projects are expected to be released by most Consortium members by mid-1997.

The activities of the NMS Consortium reflect favorable conditions for network technology development in Israel, which equip the Consortium members with the tools to face state of the art challenges in this field.

Consortium Members:

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU). BGU is a major center for teaching and research in Israel and plays a key role in industry, agriculture and education. One of the important recent contributions of BGU's applied research is in the field of computer network management, which resulted in the establishment of the NMS Consortium. Commercialization of BGU's applicable research projects is the main responsibility of B.G. Negev Technologies and Applications, which also coordinates cooperation between academic research and industry.

Bay Networks (through the recent acquisition of Armon). Bay Networks is one of the top leaders in computer network solutions, created through the merger of WellFleet and SynOptics corporations. In March 1996, Bay Networks acquired ARMON Networking Ltd. of Israel, which was an original member of the NMS consortium. ARMON Networking, of the well known RAD group, specializes in development of RMON probes and the accompanying management application software for network management and control.

Expert Solutions International (ESI). ESI is a systems house specializing in the development of Expert Systems based solutions. ESI's professional team is led by Dr. Efraim Shaket, a prominent AI authority. Since 1984, ESI has implemented some of the most prestigious Expert Systems projects in Israel. ESI is controlled by two of the leading computer companies in Israel: Formula Systems and Clal Computers and Technology.

Lanoptics. Lanoptics, of Migdal HaUemek, Israel, is a pioneer in the development of modular Token Ring hubs. Its wide range of network products includes modern Ethernet and Token-Ring hubs, switching hubs, firewalls and more.

Madge Networks. Madge Networks (NASDAQ:MADGF) is a leading worldwide supplier of end-to-end switched networking solutions for large enterprises, with a special focus on multiservice networking, i.e., networks which will be able to support integrated data, voice and video. The company, an originator of ATM, Ethernet, ISDN and Token Ring technology, offers a range of products from desktop connections through LAN and WAN switches and enterprise network management software. Madge is recognized for its customer support without limits, technology excellence and end-to-end networking expertise. It serves its multinational customer base in more than 20 countries worldwide from five major business centers located in Hong Kong, London, San Jose, Tel Aviv and Tokyo.

RND Networks Ltd. (RND). RND Networks Ltd., of the RAD group, develops bridges, access routers, virtual router/switch and multiprotocol routers. Its newest product, the Vgate Virtual Router Server, is the world's first wire-speed router/switch for Virtual LANs, which received top praise in recent tests in Scott Bradner's Network Device Testing Laboratory at Harvard University.

CONTACT: Madge Networks

Wendy Grover, 408/952-9026

wgrover@madge.com

or

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Ran Giladi, 972-7-647-2591

ran@bgumail.bgu.ac.il
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Date:Jan 26, 1997
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